Next Steps for Virus Prevention

Good news: Johnson & Johnson is working hard to make more than 1 billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine with the help of $1 billion of investment from the U.S. government. Bad news: The vaccine wouldn’t be available until at least early 2021, as human testing would not be scheduled until September 2020, The Jerusalem Post reported. 

In the meantime, Israel’s health ministry has ordered Israelis to mask their noses and mouths in public places, according to The Times of Israel. If people don’t have surgical masks to wear, improvised masks can be used as long as they provide similar facial coverage.

In all honesty, we’re probably all tired of hearing so many reports about a possible cure being discovered and projected to be released while never hearing any sort of follow-up. At this point, we want some visible, tangible answers. While J&J’s vaccine feels far off, it’s at least a more realistic timetable than those we previously heard a couple weeks ago when it was believed a cure was imminent within a few weeks.

The misleading information about how the virus spreads can be frustrating, too. We’ve heard that it is airborne, then that it only spreads in droplets of mucus and saliva, yet wearing a mask would seem to do little if the virus spreads to all surfaces and could easily transfer through your airways by touching your face regardless of whether or not you wear a mask. Still, through the past month it has seemed that the most extreme precautions are the ones that have worked the best. Perhaps there’s no such thing as an overreaction anymore, in which case Israel is wise to issue a widespread mandate for wearing masks in public.